Philip Townsend: My Thirty Minutes in the Presence of Genius

Philip Townsend at the Photographers Lounge
Philip Townsend by Kate Cross

Words such as “awesome” and “genius” are, in my opinion, used a little too freely. So I have given much careful consideration before using the word “genius” to describe Philip Townsend. For the moment you are going to have to trust me on this, but I intend to back it up – the man is pure genius!

As a child of the Sixties and the youngest of four siblings, I recognize many of Philip’s images and recall the excitement they brought about; my sister going all dizzy over The Beatles; my elder brothers getting all rebellious and growing their hair like the Rolling Stones. Having been fortunate enough to be invited to the launch party of Philip’s new book “Sorry You Missed the Sixties” at the Photographers Lounge in Swanage, I relished the opportunity to study some of these original prints up close. I spent a lot of time (and money!) honing my own darkroom skills, but it still gives me the shivers to see the product of a true master.

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Sorry You Missed The Sixties… Philip Townsend Photography Exhibition and Book Launch

Philip Townsend Samples

I managed to sneak away from the beach during Easter’s family visit to Swanage and popped round to the Photographers Lounge. After fifteen minutes or so of chatting with Kate, apart from leaving with the usual inspiration to grab the camera and go be creative, I also learned some exciting news…

The Philip Townsend Archive, a collection of photographs taken by celebrated 60s photographer Philip Townsend, documenting Sixties London in full swing and capturing some of the most iconic faces of the era, will make a rare public appearance at the Photographers Lounge in Dorset throughout June and July 2009. His unique collection of shots includes rock stars, society darlings, models and the political movers and shakers of the day. The rescued works, hidden for forty years, are now being sought by magazines and newspapers throughout the world, by galleries like the National Portrait Gallery, and by collectors. The reason is simple: Philip Townsend’s pictures are the Sixties.

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Spotlight on: Michael Tarasov

One of the best ever Internet inventions, for me at least, has to be StumbleUpon. Recently whilst using StumbleUpon, I have become aware of an increasing number of Russian photographers and photographic sites. Unfortunately, much of the content of the sites is fairly inaccessible to me (I don’t read Russian), but a lot of the images are monochrome which is of particular interest to me.

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Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is one of my all time favourite photographic heroes. He was truly a master of light and (although completely the opposite to how I enjoy taking photographs) his incredibly detailed, scientific approach to the craft was nothing short of genius.

I often spend hours studying his photographs and love to read about how he achieved his awe inspiring photos.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have found an interactive presentation of a selection of his Yosemite photographs with narration supplied by his former assistant Andrea Stillman. Itâ??s enlightening, very entertaining and if youâ??re even the slightest bit interested in Anselâ??s work you should head on over and take a look:

Ansel Adams’s Yosemite – by The New York Times.

News: Robert Capa’s Lost Negatives Have Been Found

Robert Capaâ??s Lost Negatives

In 1954, Robert Capa died still believing that the negatives he left behind in his Paris studio when he fled the Nazi invasion had been lost forever.

The New York Times has published the story of how Capa’s negatives resurfaced and the implications of the discovery. One of the most intriguing elements of the story is the question of whether Capa’s arguably most famous photograph (Death of a Loyalist Soldier) was actually “faked” and the hope that these negatives may answer this once and for all.

It is a fascinating story.